Registration, Fees, and Deposits
Academic Policies and Procedures
Libraries and Other Academic Resources
I. POLICY STATEMENT
It is the policy of the University of Texas at Austin to provide an educational and working
environment for its students, faculty, and staff that is free from sexual misconduct and sexual
harassment. The University encourages students, staff, and faculty to report sexual misconduct
or sexual harassment by members of the University community, visitors to the campus, or those who
have business, professional, or educational relationships with the University.
This policy applies to the conduct of all students and employees of the University of Texas at Austin.
- SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Sexual misconduct is behavior of a sexual nature that is unprofessional and/or inappropriate for the
workplace or classroom but that does not meet the definition of sexual harassment. The purpose of
prohibiting sexual misconduct is to discourage and, if necessary, take disciplinary action for
inappropriate or unprofessional activity of a sexual nature in the workplace or classroom, even if
that conduct appears to be welcomed and is not so serious or pervasive that it meets the definition
of sexual harassment.
Examples of behavior that could constitute sexual misconduct include but are not limited to
- Repeatedly engaging in sexually oriented conversations, comments, or horseplay, including the use
of language or the telling of jokes or anecdotes of a sexual nature in the workplace, office, or
classroom, even if such conduct is not objected to by those present; and
- Gratuitous use of sexually oriented materials not related to the subject matter of a class, course,
or meeting, even if not objected to by those present.
- SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Sexual harassment is a form of illegal gender discrimination that involves the imposition of an unwanted
condition or requirement on the continued employment or education of the victim. Two forms of harassment
- Quid pro quo harassment involves unwelcome sexual advances and/or requests for sexual
favors, whether implicit or explicit, that are made a condition of continued employment or education.
Only persons with the power to confer or withhold an employment or educational benefit, such as persons
responsible for the direct supervision of employees or students, can engage in quid pro quo
- Hostile environment harassment usually involves persistent, pervasive unwelcome conduct
of a sexual nature that
- Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's performance as an
employee or student; or
- Creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment or educational environment.
Examples of conduct that might create a hostile environment, depending on the severity and frequency,
include but are not limited to
- Intentional touching of intimate body areas;
- Explicit or implicit propositions to engage in sexual activity;
- Gratuitous comments of a sexual nature such as explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes;
remarks of a sexual nature about a person's clothing or body;
- Remarks about sexual activities or speculation about sexual experiences;
- Exposure to sexually suggestive visual displays such as photographs, graffitti, posters, calendars,
or other materials;
- Deliberate physical interference with or restriction of an individual's movements;
- Persistent, unwanted sexual/romantic attention;
- Subtle or overt pressure for sexual favors; and
- Deliberate, repeated gender-based humiliation or intimidation.
- When deciding whether conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual's performance or creates
an intimidating or hostile environment, the University will consider the totality of circumstances,
including the context of the conduct, its severity, frequency, and whether it was physically threatening
and humiliating, or a mere offensive utterance. A single, isolated incident of such conduct, if sufficiently
severe, can constitute environmental harassment under this policy.
IV. GENERAL PROCEDURES
Any member of the University community who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual
misconduct or sexual harassment is encouraged to report it to any University official or supervisor. No
employee or student is ever required to report or make a complaint of sexual misconduct or sexual
harassment to the person who is the subject of the complaint.
- Consulting and reporting locations: Students
Any student who believes that he or she may have been subjected to sexual misconduct or sexual
harassment by a member of the faculty or staff of the University, a fellow student, or a visitor
to the University campus is encouraged to consult with or report such conduct immediately to any of
the following persons or offices:
- Sherri Sanders, Associate Dean of Students, Student Services Building 4.104, (512) 471-9700 or
(512) 471-1201, e-mail email@example.com;
- Any dean, associate or assistant dean, or department chair;
- Susan Bradshaw, Associate Vice President for Institutional Relations and Legal Affairs, Main Building 206,
(512) 475-7715, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or
- Linda Millstone, Director, Equal Employment Opportunity Office, Flawn Academic Center 206,
(512) 471-1849, e-mail email@example.com.
To insure that situations that may involve sexual misconduct or sexual harassment are handled
appropriately, deans or depaRtment chairs will immediately notify Sherri Sanders, Associate Dean of
Students, of a request for advice or a report and arrange for a meeting between the student and
Dr. Sanders. Faculty members or academic advisers who receive reports of sexual misconduct or
sexual harassment are encouraged to inform appropriate officials of such reports.
Complaints or allegations of student-to-student sexual harassment or misconduct will be referred to
the Student Judicial Services area of the Dean of Students Office for handling pursuant to the
applicable section of the University's Student Code of Conduct.
For more information concerning options and procedures for resolving student complaints of sexual
misconduct or sexual harassment, see http://www.utexas.edu/depts/dos/sh/.
Consulting and reporting locations: Employees
- Any person employed by the University who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual
misconduct or sexual harassment is encouraged to consult with or report such conduct to
- Linda Millstone, Director of the University's Equal Employment Opportunity Office, Flawn Academic
Center 206, (512) 471-1849; or
- The head of the employee's administrative unit, or the appropriate vice president, the provost,
or another University official if the unit head is the subject of the complaint.
- In order to insure that situations that may involve sexual misconduct or sexual harassment are
handled appropriately, administrative heads or University officials who receive a request for advice
or a report of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment will immediately notify Ms. Millstone of the
report so that a meeting with the complainant can be arranged.
For more information concerning options and procedures for resolving employee complaints of sexual
misconduct or sexual harassment, see http://www.utexas.edu/admin/ohr/eeo/.
Employees or students may choose to confer or consult with Ms. Millstone or Dr. Sanders in order
to simply discuss their situations and obtain information about sexual misconduct and sexual
harassment and the options available for bringing complaints. Such a consultation will also allow
them to become aware of other relevant University services that are available to them. If the
employee or student does not wish to make a complaint, no action will be taken by the University
unless it decides that the described conduct is severe, or part of a pattern of persistent misconduct
that requires investigation. A record will be kept of the consultation and, to the extent legally
possible, that record will remain confidential.
- Informal complaint
- Definition and initiation
An informal complaint is one that will not result in any disciplinary action being imposed on the
alleged offender. It is an appropriate form of resolution when the conduct complained of is not
serious or severe; and/or when the student or employee making the complaint wishes to resolve it
without a formal investigation. An informal complaint is initiated when an employee or student informs
the director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office or the associate dean of students of the
offensive conduct, and of his or her desire to handle the matter informally.
- Complaint resolution
Methods for resolving informal complaints can include, but are not limited to, some or all of the
- Mediation of the complaint between the complainant and the offender;
- Modification of the situation in which the offending conduct occurred;
- A documented meeting between a University official and an alleged offender that, at a minimum, involves
a discussion of the University's sexual misconduct and sexual harassment policy requirements.
The University shall act promptly on informal complaints. They shall be resolved as soon as practicable
or within forty-five days of their initiation, unless unusual circumstances require more time.
- Documentation and confidentiality
The University shall document the informal complaint and its resolution. Such documentation shall
be retained by the director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office or by the Dean of Students
Office as appropriate. The University, to the extent allowed by law, will maintain the confidentiality
of the complaint. It will also attempt to maintain the confidentiality of the complainant during
the informal resolution process. However, the identity of the complainant may become apparent, or
disclosure necessary, as a result of the actions taken to resolve the complaint.
- Formal complaints
- Definition and initiation
A formal complaint is one that involves an official investigation and the possibility of the imposition
of disciplinary action on the offender. A formal complaint is appropriate when the behavior complained
of is serious and/or is a part of a pattern of such behavior. A formal complaint is initiated when
the complainant submits a written and signed statement describing the offensive conduct in detail
to any head of an administrative unit, University official, the Dean of Students Office, or the
director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office. The University may also initiate an official
investigation of a complaint in situations it deems require formal resolution.
- Formal complaint resolution
The resolution of formal complaints involves an official investigation made under the direction of
the appropriate University official, who will determine whether the University's policy has been
violated and what disciplinary action, if any, is appropriate. Complaints brought by employees
about supervisors or other employees will be investigated by the director of the Equal Employment
Opportunity Office. Complaints brought by students about teachers or academic advisers will be investigated
under the direction of the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost. Complaints by students
about other students will be investigated under the direction of the Dean of Students.
The alleged offender is given a copy of the complaint as a part of the investigation and is provided
with an opportunity to respond to it within ten working days, unless unusual circumstances require
more time. Both the complainant and the accused will be interviewed as a part of the official investigation,
as will any witnesses or persons who have information related to the complaint.
- Possible resolutions of formal complaints include but are not limited to
- A finding that the University's policy concerning sexual misconduct and sexual harassment was not violated
and dismissal of the charge; and
- A finding that the University's sexual misconduct and sexual harassment policy has been violated,
leading to imposition of a disciplinary action as determined by the appropriate University official.
Disciplinary actions for employees can include oral reprimands, written reprimands, suspension without
pay, and termination. For students, disciplinary actions can include admonitions, probation, bars
on issuance of transcripts, grades, or diplomas, bars on readmission, or any of the penalties set
out in Sec. 11-502 of the Institutional Rules on Student Services and Activities.
The University shall act promptly to investigate complaints. A written report of the investigation
shall be provided to the appropriate executive officers within sixty days, unless unusual circumstances
require more time. The decision of the appropriate executive officers concerning whether there is
a violation of University policy, and, if so, the appropriate disciplinary action, shall be made
within thirty days of the receipt of the investigation report.
- Disciplinary actions
Disciplinary actions may be appealed or grieved by the employee or student who is disciplined.
Such appeals or grievances shall be brought pursuant to existing University policies and procedures.
Complainants may be required to appear and testify at hearings that may be a part of any such appeal
or grievance procedure.
The University, to the greatest extent possible, will attempt to maintain the confidentiality of
the complainant. However, the investigation of a formal complaint will necessarily involve the disclosure
of the identity of the complainant and accused to those who are involved in the investigation.
Documents related to the investigation and its outcome will be kept confidential to the extent permitted
V. Retaliation Prohibited
Retaliation against a student or employee for bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct or sexual
harassment is prohibited. Any employee or student who does so is in violation of this policy and
may be subject to disciplinary action.
VI. Effect of Bringing a Complaint
The filing of a sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, or retaliation complaint will not stop or
delay any evaluation or disciplinary action related to a complaining employee or student who is
not performing up to acceptable standards or who has violated University rules or policies.
VII. Consensual Relationships
In addition to complying with the above policy dealing with sexual harassment and sexual misconduct,
students and faculty members should conduct themselves in an appropriate manner and should avoid
compromising situations involving any romantic or sexual relationship between a faculty member and
a student who is enrolled in a course taught by the faculty member or who is otherwise under the
supervision of the faculty member. This policy is not intended, in any way, to discourage the
interaction of faculty and students where harassment or a conflict of interest is not a factor;
however, the policy is intended to clarify that it is inappropriate for a faculty member to form
romantic or sexual relationships with students working under the faculty member's direct supervision.